whoever-mendelsohn-is-playing-he-does-not-seem-pleasedAs of today, the first trailer for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was officially released. Ever since Disney purchased LucasFilm, they announced that there would be two different types of Star Wars movie to be released. The first would be the continuation of the Skywalker Saga aka the Episodes. The other would be when they were first announced as "Anthology Films" but now seem to be going by "Star Wars Story" title. "Rogue One" was announced as being the first of these movies and it would be set right before "Episode IV: A New Hope" as the plot revolves around the operation to steal the plans to the Death Star which officially kicked off the plot of the very first Star Wars movie to be released.
Frankly, what gets me most excited about the movie is that it is a war movie. While war has always been a factor in every one of these movies, there has always been the mix of the fantastical. There are no Jedi within the movie. It is a known secret that Darth Vader plays a factor in the movie, so he and if the Emperor makes an appearance, will be the only links to the Force that is prevalent in every one of the Star Wars movie released so far. One really gets the sense of that in the trailer as it is shot very differently from "The Force Awakens". It is gritty looking and there are dark hues throughout. Everyone in the trailer looks to be going through the throws of war and you can see it on their faces.
This movie will be the first true test to the strength of the Star Wars brand. Though Darth Vader and maybe the Emperor will make an appearance and the plot does lead into one of the previous released movies, it does not rely on existing characters or tropes that have dominated the franchise before. One common complaint about the Star Wars universe is how insular it has been. There will be an entirely new cast of characters who can branch off into a variety of different ways and this movie will expand the franchise in new ways. So it's a good time to be a Star Wars fan.